A creative wall

As I read the blog post about the Shape Lab of the MoMA in New York on their own blog inside/out, some thoughts came into my mind. At frist I better explain the idea behind the Shape Lab.

“Shape Lab is an interactive educational space for families. The educators’ intention for this space is to encourage visitors to interact with the space and explore the different ways artists use shapes in painting and sculpture. The space was filled with interactive tools and furniture, educational toys, art books, and shape learning activities. The original project request was to design an identity for its title wall. Instead, we designed a multifunctional activity wall, which both communicates its message and functions as a fun learning game.” (via moma.org)

I like the idea that you can come into this room, experience with shapes and forms and all this by getting your hands on stuff. I am a huge fan of interactive installations. In my opinion every room I enter should have something similar. There are several possibilities, I am listing below and all ideas are great.


Everybody knows that you can make a chalkboard out of every wall. You just need chalkboard paint. You can get it in almost every hardware store, mostly in black and green. I prefer black chalkboards, the visibility is much better and if you paint a whole wall with the chalkboard paint it would not look that great in chalkboard green. There are also chalkboard foils you can stick onto a wall. I am not a big fan of these.


I love the idea of Michael Surtees. He used his window to make his thoughts and ideas visual. Of course with the New York skyline in the back it looks even more impressive.


My most favorite possibility is the whiteboard paint also known as IdeaPaint. Where you can use every water soluble pen to make the walls colorful and express your thoughts on several square meters. Unfortunately IdeaPaint is only available in the USA. You can order it from Germany but it is way to expensive for a try (200$ for 4,6 m²). I don’t know if you remember but the d.school in Stanford has a whole room covered in whiteboard paint. There are also whiteboard foils, which stick to the wall self-adhesively. It’s a great solution for mobile visualisations. But in an office or at home I would stick to the IdeaPaint.

The perfect combination would be to mix some magnetic material into the paint, so you can also put some magnets on the wall to fix some paper or anything else like at the Shape Lab.

A while ago I builded my own whiteboard. It is just used a laminated wood panel and some laths for the edges, screwed it on the wall and it was done. In total it costs maybe 15 Euros and took about 30 minutes. And I enjoy it. I used it for short notes (for example during phone calls) or for important to-dos.

I would like to know if you use something similar or if you have another idea?


For years now we are using Interactive Whiteboards at our university. I like these gadgets. And I think they are the future of the ancient chalkboard in schools. As I stumbled the blog post about Interactive Whiteboards at Creative Review, I was surprised that they finally made it to the world of design blogs. But after I saw the animation of We Are Plus, I wasn’t so much surprised any more. it shows perfectly the possibilities and the strenghts of these boards.

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  • Florian

    Wow, dein Arbeitsplatz gefällt mir richtig gut.

    Ich bin auch der Meinung, dass jedes Büro bzw. Arbeitszimmer über solche Flächen verfügen sollte, gerade als Designer oder Kreativagentur. Neben mir hängt ein whiteboard, das deinem ziemlich ähnlich ist.

    Und es ist extrem wichtig, zwischendurch seine Ideen mal schnell festzuhalten. Etwas, dass die Computer immer noch nicht wirklich ermöglichen können. Ganz ehrlich, es ist doch sowieso viel besser, einen Stift in die Hand zu nehmen und das ganze selbst aufzuschreiben. Das Analoge hat eben doch was ;)

  • Timm

    Love the idea.

    Quote from “The Big Bang Theory”, goes like “It’s his whiteboard, do you like whiteboards, I also have a whiteboard, it’s my whiteboard!” when Leonard tries to impress Penny using his whiteboard.

    For creative work or just ordinary notes, such a construction is great. I’d really love the white paint to be available here in Germany, because a black wall (or part of it) in a room doesn’t seem pretty. I like your idea, maybe with a slightly thicker panel… yeah, I like ideas :)

    thx for the input!

  • dan

    maybe we can get some ppl together and order the “ideapaint” love the idea –> all coworking space in .de need such paint –> lot of ppl ordering – crowdbuying :-)

  • Markus Reuter

    @Florian @Timm: Ja, da stimme ich euch zu, analoges Arbeiten ist vor allem beim Ideen generieren, Brainstorming, oder visuellen Denken unvermeidbar. Es geht schneller und irgendwie sind die meisten Personen mit Stift dann doch besser in der Lage Gedanken zu visualisieren. Egal ob Stift und Papier oder Stift/Kreide und Wand.

    @dan: I like the idea. Although I think it would be much better to get a German paint producer to create their own IdeaPaint!? Maybe I contact some producers. Hmm.. I will.

  • campsite | shape lab: at moma

    […] made by Markus Reuter of better taste than sorry, which is between this exhibition and the idea of A Creative Wall where ideas and concepts can be visualized and hopefully clarified. He highlights some cool […]

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A creative wall